Acts 10:34a, 37–43; Psalm 118:1–2, 16–17, 22–23; Colossians 3:1–4 or 1 Corinthians 5:6b–8; John 20:1–9
In 1984, singer Tina Turner had a comeback hit with her recording of “What’s Love Got to Do With It.” Years later I drew a lot of smiles when I began an Easter Sunday homily with the song’s title. It’s a question that explains the Easter Gospel, John 20:1–9, which tells us that Peter and the “disciple Jesus loved” came to the tomb early on the first day of the week after hearing Mary Magdalene’s report of the empty tomb.
The Beloved Disciple arrives first but waits until Peter enters and sees Jesus’ burial wrappings neatly folded. Peter doesn’t understand what he sees. But the other disciple is moved to an act of faith. He’s the disciple whom Jesus loved, and love leads to faith. That’s what love has to do with it!
The characters in John’s Easter story show various stages of belief. Mary Magdalene believes when she is prompted by the Lord himself, when they meet in the garden near the tomb. Peter gets to wipe out his denials of Jesus with three affirmation of love when he encounters Jesus on the seashore (John 21). Doubting Thomas, a fourth character in John’s resurrection story, needs visible proof before he will believe (John 20).
I can find myself in all of these gospel portraits by John. Sometimes I want proof, like Thomas, or I need forgiveness, like Peter. I pray that my faith can be that of the Beloved Disciple, who understood what love has to do with it.
Today’s Action Look back on your Lent. How has your faith grown during this time?
Risen Lord, thank you for sharing your life with us. May love move us to faith, as we renew the promises of our baptism today. Amen.